published Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

SoCon success flipped to North this year

The South dominated the Southern Conference divisions last year in basketball.

Davidson won the South and finished at 16-2 in league play. Wofford and Georgia Southern tied at 12-6. Charleston finished fourth at 10-8.

UNC Greensboro topped the North at 10-8 and Elon was second at 9-9. The rest of the North finished sub-.500.

Yet the SoCon tournament byes went to UNCG, Elon, Davidson and Wofford on a tiebreaker with GSU.

The current system would have swapped GSU for Elon, because this season the division winners earn byes and the rest of the league is seeded by record.

"There's been a division in divisions for a long time," Wofford coach Mike Young said. "We still have 10 games to play. Let's see how it shakes out as we move along."

Heading into tonight's matchup of Appalachian State at Charleston, only the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is sub-.500 in the North. Yet four teams are below .500 in the South.

"On our side, we're playing a lot of freshmen," Furman coach Jeff Jackson said. "A lot of games this year we're starting three freshmen. Charleston is playing freshmen and Wofford is playing freshmen. When we play a team from the North, we're not seeing a lot of freshmen in positions of importance, and that makes a difference."

North teams have won 12 times head-to-head with the South this season, and the South has won eight with Davidson claiming four of those. Elon has four crossover wins for the North. UTC has one -- at The Citadel.

"WCU has lost four out of five, and last week when they started this swing, they were in first place," UTC coach John Shulman said. "Elon is trying to pull away. Some of them still have to play Davidson."

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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